Bibliography and Index of the Sirenia and Desmostylia  

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"Asher, Robert J."

Asher, Robert J.; Novacek, Michael J.; Geisler, Jonathan H. (detail)
Relationships of endemic African mammals and their fossil relatives based on morphological and molecular evidence.
Jour. Mamm. Evol. 10(1/2): 131-194. June 2003.
–ABSTRACT: Analyses of anatomical and DNA sequence data run on a parallel supercomputer that include fossil taxa support the inclusion of tenrecs and golden moles in the Afrotheria, an endemic African clade of placental mammals. According to weighting schemes of morphological and molecular data that maximize congruence, extinct members of the afrotherian crown group include embrithopods, Plesiorycteropus, desmostylians, and the "condylarths" Hyopsodus, Meniscotherium, and possibly Phenacodus. By influencing the optimization of anatomical characters, molecular data have a large influence on the relationships of several extinct taxa. The inclusion of fossils and morphological data increases support for an elephant-sea cow clade within Paenungulata and identifies ancient, northern elements of a clade whose living members in contrast suggest an historically Gondwanan distribution. In addition, maximally congruent topologies support the position of Afrotheria as well-nested, not basal, within Placentalia. This pattern does not accord with the recent hypothesis that the divergence of placental mammals co-occurred with the tectonic separation of Africa and South America.
Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R.; Asher, Robert J.; Rincón, Ascanio D.; Carlini, Alfredo A.; Meylan, Peter; Purdy, Robert W. (detail)
New faunal reports for the Cerro La Cruz locality (Lower Miocene), north-western Venezuela. In: M.R. Sánchez-Villagra & J.A. Clack (eds.), Fossils of the Miocene Castillo Formation, Venezuela: contributions on Neotropical palaeontology.
Special Papers in Palaeontology 71: 105-112. 1 tab. 2 figs.
–Reports indeterminate sir. rib fragments from the Castillo Formation (109-110).
Asher, Robert J.; Lehmann, Thomas (detail)
Dental eruption in afrotherian mammals.
BMC Biology 6: 14-25. Mar. 18, 2008.
–Available at:
Tabuce, Rodolphe; Asher, Robert J.; Lehmann, Thomas (detail)
Afrotherian mammals: a review of current data.
Mammalia 72: 2-14. 6 figs. DOI 10.1515/MAMM.2008.004 Mar. 25, 2008 (Publ. online Mar. 7, 2008).
–Briefly outlines the family-level taxonomy and fossil record of sirenians; desmostylians are mentioned in passing.
Asher, Robert J.; Seiffert, Erik R. (detail)
Systematics of endemic African mammals. Chap. 46 in: L. Werdelin & W.J. Sanders (eds.), Cenozoic mammals of Africa.
Berkeley, Univ. of California Press (xxi + 986): 903-920. 3 tabs. 4 figs.
Hautier, Lionel; Weisbecker, Vera; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R.; Goswami, Anjali; Asher, Robert J. (detail)
Skeletal development in sloths and the evolution of mammalian vertebral patterning.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (USA) 107(44): 18903-18908. 4 figs. Nov. 2, 2010.
–P. 18906: {"Short-necked sloths (C[holoepus]. hoffmanni) possess five to six ribless neck vertebrae. Manatees are known to typically possess six ribless neck vertebrae [Buchholtz et al., 2007]. We predict that when data on their axial skeleton ossification sequences are available, they will show one to two cranial-most rib-bearing vertebrae that are developmentally cervical. That is, they will exhibit late ossification of their centra, after that of more distal, rib-bearing vertebrae and coincident with more proximal cervical vertebrae."}

Daryl P. Domning, Research Associate, Department of Paleobiology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20560, and Laboratory of Evolutionary Biology, Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, Howard University, Washington, D.C. 20059.
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